Fulwell 73, the acclaimed producers behind The Late Late Show With James Corden, Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special, Carpool Karaoke and Roast Battle, has hired Saskia Schuster, currently Controller for Comedy at ITV, as its Head of Scripted, effective 4th May 2020.
Based in London, Schuster will report to Managing Partner Leo Pearlman, and will be expanding Fulwell 73 into the scripted space by launching a new scripted department in the UK.
Schuster is one of the best known and respected executives in the comedy and entertainment arena in the UK with a wealth of experience and connectivity commissioning comedy dramas, scripted comedy, sketch shows and comedy entertainment formats.
Schuster joined ITV in 2014 as Controller for Comedy, and her high profile commissions and re-commissions included The Trouble With Maggie Cole, The Keith and Paddy Picture Show, Benidorm, Birds of a Feather, Bad Move, Kate and Koji and Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule for ITV, as well as Celebrity Juice, Plebs, Shopping with Keith Lemon, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Don’t Hate The Playaz and Timewasters for ITV2.
During this time, Schuster also founded Comedy 50:50, an initiative aimed at addressing gender imbalance in comedy by implementing practical measures to achieve equal representation in writing rooms and production teams for women.
As part of this initiative, during her tenure at ITV, Schuster was responsible for a change in the channel’s terms of commission, stipulating that no comedy entertainment shows with all-male writing teams would be commissioned, and that scripted comedy productions must demonstrate best endeavours to employ women in the writing room.
Schuster also made ITV accessible to all writers by holding monthly open afternoons, where she had face-to-face meetings with writers to demystify the commissioning process and to have creative discussions.
Before joining ITV, Schuster was Commissioning Editor for Comedy at Sky, where her commissions included Yonderland and Little Crackers for Sky One, Psychobitches, Nixon’s The One and A Young Doctor’s Notebook for Sky Arts and Ronna and Beverly for Sky Atlantic.
Prior to that, Schuster was Head of Development at Toff Media, the drama and comedy production company founded by Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller, where she executive produced The Armstrong & Miller Show. She was also Head of Scripted Comedy at Objective Productions, where she worked on shows including Peep Show, Star Stories and The Peter Serafinowicz Show.
Saskia Schuster said: “Fulwell 73 is synonymous with creating world class comedy and entertainment programming working with the best talent. Off the back of international successes such as Gavin and Stacey and Roast Battle, I’m really excited to be joining to expand Fulwell’s scripted output. As anyone who knows me already knows, I’m passionate about addressing gender imbalance in comedy and I am really pleased that at Fulwell this is very much part of their remit. It’s great that when I join Fulwell in May I’ll be able to continue my work with Comedy 50:50, with support from my new colleagues and the wider industry.”